Variation in liver enzymes in cosmetologists, heavy cosmetic users and cosmetic naïve individuals in Benin City, Nigeria

  • O.G. Igharo
  • H.B. Osadolor
  • P.I. Omusi
  • J.O. Osunbor
  • A.O. Igiebor
  • I Ikekhuamen


Aim: This study aimed to assess enzymatic biomarkers of liver injury in Cosmetologists, Heavy Cosmetic Users and Cosmetic-Naive Individuals in Benin City, South-South, Nigeria, using the activities of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), Alanine aminotransferase (ALT), Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) and Gamma Glutamyltransferase (GGT).

Method: In this cross-sectional study, the Cosmetologists (n=50; mean age, 25.4 yrs.) comprising female nail and hair care workers who have had occupational exposure for a minimum of five years, and the Heavy Cosmetic Users (HCU) comprising apparently healthy females (n=25; mean age, 23.7 yrs.) who had constantly used a variety of cosmetics for a minimum of five years formed the exposed groups; while apparently healthy, age-matched, and cosmetics naive female participants [Non Users of Cosmetics (NUC)] (n=25, mean age 20.0 yrs.) working and living in Benin City (same study area with the exposed groups), served as Controls. Serum levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), Alanine aminotransferase (ALT), Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) and Gamma Glutamyltransferase (GGT) in cosmetologists, NUC and HCU were determined by spectrophotometry.

Results: Exposure burden of ≥ 36h per week, coupled with deficient use of personal protective equipment was observed among the cosmetologists. Additionally, exposure to cosmetics-borne chemicals through body cavities such as skin pore, the nose, the eyes and the mouth is suggested in both cosmetologists and heavy cosmetics users (HCU). Activities of ALT and AST (U/L) in Cosmetologists (10.44±0.43; 19.90 ± 1.29) were significantly higher than both HCU (7.20 ± 0.36; 10.16± 0.41) and NUC (8.00 ± 0.37; 12.24± 0.62) respectively. Additionally, ALP activity in Cosmetologists (28.780±.26 U/L) and HCU (28.730±.31U/L) were similar and both were significantly lower than NUC (30.40±0.43 U/L), while GGT activity (U/L) in Cosmetologists (43.02±2.24), NUC (26.68 ± 1.10) and HCU (23.24 ± 1.47) varied significantly in decreasing order.

Conclusion: This study concludes that the significantly elevated enzymatic biomarkers of liver damage observed in the Cosmetologists may be associated with long term occupational exposure to cosmetic-borne hepatotoxic chemicals/metals. Use of personal protective device and artisanal occupational health education is highly advocated.


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eISSN: 1596-6569